“Swimming for peace, friendship and clean waters.” – Martin Strel
Martin Strel, a Slovenian long-distance swimmer and one of the most elite endurance athletes best known for swimming the entire length of various rivers. Strel holds successive Guinness World Records for swimming the Danube river for 58 days, the Mississippi River for 68 days, the Yangtze River 51 days, and the Amazon River for 66 days.
In 2007, Strel became the first person to swim the 3,300 miles Amazon River fighting his life against parasites, piranhas, and man-hungry Amazonian women. He didn’t swim his first river until after the age 50 and it looks like impossible for him to swim in vast bodies of water.
The five-foot-eleven-inches athlete faced severe and life-threatening medical conditions and physical injuries throughout his entire swimming career.
holds successive Guinness World Records for swimming the Danube river for 58 days, the Mississippi River for 68 days, the Yangtze River 51 days, and the Amazon River for 66 days. (Source: EliteReaders)
Regardless of his age and the difficulties he faced from swimming, the “King of Rivers” still planning to continue the marathon swims.
“My life is very connected to water. I grew up in this very special part [of Slovenia] where there’s a lot of water, many lakes, rivers, creeks. My first swimming competition was when I was 10 years old, and my whole village was talking about my power: “How is this small guy so strong?” In 1978, I decided to become a professional marathon swimmer, so I’ve been a professional for 31 years.”
“My idea wasn’t to be a world champion or Olympic champion. I started with a professional group, and did world events. There was a war in Yugoslavia, Sept. 11th happened, and I decided that the world was changing, and so I would do something new. I started swimming lakes, rivers and oceans around the world. Before I knew it, I was thinking about the Amazon, and I finally did it. Don’t ask me what I’m doing next.”
What do you think about his achievements? Not bad for a 61 years old right? let us know in the comment section below.